There are many things happening behind the scenes at Give a Child a Family (GCF). One is that our Expansion department has been busy conducting a research survey with parents for quite some time now, whereof part 1 is ready and part 2 currently is ongoing.
Why does the organisation involve itself in such complicated and lengthy processes? It would be too easy to say “because it is important”, which is correct, but the purposes are several. It includes finding out;
- if GCF’s own programmes can ensure effective family support for the provision of nurturing care
- to develop an evidence-based case for effective support and longer-term advocacy for scaling up the organisation’s programmes with government
- to advocate in the short, medium and long-term for government and other partners to provide effective services and support for children and families
To get to this we need, for example, to understand what may hinder vulnerable families in providing their children with nurturing care, what their way of care is and to know what services they access or need to enable and strengthen their abilities to care for children.
With this in mind and the knowledge that a child’s first 1000 days lays the foundation for their health and development for the rest of their lives, our work started. The Covid-19 pandemic regulations changed the plans and instead of focus groups and individual face-to-face interviews with parents/caregivers, who have previously participated in GCF’s Family Strengthening Programme, technology was used. Our community workers used the KOBO Collect App on cell phones to do telephonic interviews using a standard questionnaire with 200 people, which later followed with 20 telephonic in-depth interviews.
Later on, data was analysed and a report compiled. Not surprisingly the study shows us that many of the participants live with their families in under-serviced areas with limited access to daycare, safe playgrounds and recreational and learning facilities like libraries. 68% of them are unemployed and rely on grants (mostly child support grants and old age grants) as their only source of income. 37% of the families live on R1,000 – R3,000/month, and some report that they sometimes go to bed hungry.
The study also indicates that the overall impact of GCF’s Family Strengthening Programme has a positive impact on the ability of at-risk parents to provide nurturing care and improve the developmental outcome of their children.
As an organisation, we have always promoted nurturing and resilient family environments where children receive the care and protection they need. Our Family Strengthening Programme has existed for a decade and we trust that we will continue to be a part of preventing children from being removed from their families, as preventative work has already assisted parents/caregivers at home.
To determine the success of the above-mentioned programme we cannot only rely on this study, so currently, we conclude a comparative study with a control group of 200 parents who have not participated in any of GCF’s programmes. We are eagerly awaiting the outcome that will guide us forward in our work. Stay tuned for the outcomes of the report.
Are you interested in nurturing care? Read more at: https://nurturing-care.org/ncf-for-ecd
Written by: Anna-Karin Öhrnstedt